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Old 03-19-2020, 10:08 PM
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Default DIY high powered LED(no soldering)

Disclaimer I am not an electrician, working with electricity can result in harm, death and fire.

My goal with this post is to coalesce information that seemed to be missing from DIY builds I saw and honestly just made this process a lot more difficult than it needed to be, part of that was due to there being a large amount of assumed information from people who already had some background in electronics. Disclaimer I knew nothing of electronics before starting this project so hopefully that値l be encouraging to those who find themselves in the same shoes. I知 going to assume you understand nothing about electronics in an attempt to make this accessible to as many people as possible.

Planning
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First you need to determine your lighting requirements for your enclosure.

1.Plant requirements
*I have zero studies to back this guideline, it痴 quoted from another member here and was the only reference I could find as a jumping off point. This along with a lumen to par calculator(again not all that reliable of a method) ended up giving results that corresponded nicely with this guideline but hey could致e always been beginners luck.*
⁃Low light plants - 15-35 par
Medium light plants - 35-60 par
High light plants - 60+ par
Color up bromeliads - 150 par
2.Spread
⁃The larger the LED the less you will need to cover an area(generally).
⁃Other factors that affect spread include emission angle, wether or not you use a lens and height of the light off the enclosure.
⁃There are definitely some interesting lighting effects you could achieve in larger enclosures, such as having a single large LED giving less coverage but creates a more dramatic tapering off of light at the edges.
3.Depth
⁃Greater the depth the larger the individual LEDs will need to be.
⁃I.E two light fixtures both being 9 watts total, one with 9 LEDs and the other 3 LEDs. The light fixture using 3 higher powered LEDs will have greater depth penetration(generally).
⁃I used 9 watt COBs(Chip on board, many small LEDs function as a single unit) and would say they would be suitable for up 30-36 giving an appropriate amount of them.
⁃3 watt COB/LEDs would be suitable for anything less than 30.
4.Color temperature
⁃6500k would be good for plant growth but has a slight blue tinge.
⁃5600k would be a whiter light but less optimal for plants.
⁃You can always mix and match various color temperatures but I find this is costly for limited gains.

LEDs use DC power not AC

Sizing your power supply(series wiring with constant current)
1.Forward voltage(fV) of each LED added together = voltage required(I suggest exceeding this figure, I.E I needed 45 volts but my power supply can provide up to 54 volts). If over 150 volts i壇 highly recommend running multiple lights or a different system entirely, which I値l talk about later.
2.Current rating(do not exceed or you will shorten the life of the LED, I would recommend an adjustable power supply).

⁃Current and forward voltage can be found in the data sheet, which is almost always provided by the company.





Sizing your heat sink
1.Total watts of your LED array x .45 = energy waster as heat(heat watts).
2.Heat watts x 17 = surface area needed for heat sink.

⁃Alternatively; heat watts x 6 = surface area if you plan on using a fan. I have gripes against active cooling as it leaves less room for error(fans can malfunction, making the entire system fragile off one component).
⁃Chart providing surface area of various heat sinks(per inch) from USA heat sinks(slightly out of date).




Sizing LED/COB holder
1.Size of LED/COB
2.Current requirement of your LED/COB
3.Voltage requirement of your LED/COB

⁃Size of your LED/COB can be found in the databsheet

Here痴 an example using the one I built.

Sizing my power supply(series wiring with constant current)
1.3 LEDs requiring 15 volts each = 45 volts
2.Current rating = 600ma

Sizing my heat sink
1.Each LED is 9 watts, 3 x 9 = 27 and then 27 x .45 = 12.15
2.12.15 x 17 = 206.55in2 of surface area

Sizing my LED/COB holder
1.13.5x13.5mm
2.600ma
2.45 volts

⁃Do not exceed current/voltage rating of your LED/COB holder, FIRE danger.
⁃Current/voltage rating of your LED/COB holder can be found in the data sheet.



Materials
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COBs(chip on board, many small LEDs acting as a single unit)

https://store.yujiintl.com/collectio...eries-cob-135l

⁃5600k color temperature.
⁃Another reputable brand are Cree COBs, and I believe you can purchase these individually instead of sets of five or ten.
⁃I decided on Yuji because they have a higher CRI.
⁃CRI is a rating of the quality of light, only matters for photography/video.

Power supply

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...HhfHoEGQ%3D%3D

⁃Do not use constant voltage drivers....well you can but will likely be a large headache and could result in the damage of your light.
⁃Constant current drivers is what痴 generally recommended.
⁃I would also suggest one with an adjustable output.

Heat sink

https://www.heatsinkusa.com/4-850/

⁃16
⁃Giving me 500in2 of surface area.
⁃Honestly still gets warm, uncomfortable to keep my hand on it. Running at 600ma, at 450ma was cool to the touch.
⁃Reducing the current to 450ma will give less light but will also extend the life of your LEDs.

COB holder

https://www.te.com/usa-en/product-2213678-5.html

⁃Do not exceed current or voltage rating of your LED/COB holder, FIRE danger.
⁃Current/voltage rating can be found in the data sheet




Waygo clips

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HIOP6SC..._57ZCEbT916G1M

Power cable

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MCBPG5V..._Kr0CEbJ84Z3QJ

Tap bit

⁃Honestly can稚 remember what size, take the COB holder into a home improvement store and see which size fits

Wire

⁃I used 18awg stranded but required me to use my soldering iron, I would use 20awg solid core.

Thermal paste

⁃I used Arctic silver but any would work, you can find at computer part stores/websites

Bolts

Oil(for drilling)

Painters tape

Rubbing alcohol

Electric tape(maybe)

Lint free paper towels

Drill

Scissors

Straight edge

Screw driver

Hammer

Marker

Soldering iron(optional)


Construction
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I didn稚 do a proper job of documenting the process with photos, hopefully I can explain well enough.

1.Find your spacing for each COB.
⁃Get your heat sink.
⁃I took two inches off each side length wise and evenly spaced the COBs in between
⁃Use a straight edge to make everything square and pretty(optional)
⁃Very important is to note the top of the vivarium and any obstruction you may have blocking the light



⁃Space the COBs width wise according to any obstructions you may have(I didn稚 account for this and I have a shadow line across the upper part of my vivarium.

2.Drilling holes for COB holder
⁃Place COB holder in place and mark the holes for the screws by hammering the point of a screw driver into the heat sink.
⁃Physically place the small screwdriver in the holes for the screws on the COB holder when you go to make the mark, precision is important here.
⁃Take your drill bit(for metal not wood) and place some oil on it and the heat sink
⁃Try your best to keep the drill 90 degrees with the heat sink and drill at the marks from the screw driver until the desired depth(for me this was all the way through since my screws were too long)



⁃Now swap out your drill bit for the tap bit and repeat this process for each hole
⁃Make sure to go slow, maintain 90 degree angle to the heat sink and use oil.

3.Attaching the COBs to the heat sink
⁃Wipe down the heat sink and the back side of the COBs with rubbing alcohol with lint free wipes
⁃Place COB into the COB holder, it will snap into place and hold it self.
⁃It is VERY important you line up the positive and negative contact points with its corresponding contact point on the COB holder. There will be symbols on both to help with this.
⁃Apply thermal past to the back side of the COB.
⁃Use very little paste and rake across in one direction across the COB, then switch directions and repeat until a sufficient layer is applied, seriously very little paste.

https://youtu.be/_XzTxie2Vgg

⁃Only apply paste to one COB at a time before screwing into place.
⁃Screw into to place, do not over tighten. Tighten to the point where COB lays flat, tighten one side a little then the other until flat.
⁃Repeat for all COBs.

4.Wiring
⁃You値l be wiring in series, one COB to the next.



⁃Take your hot wire(generally red) and insert it into the positive end of your first COB.
⁃Take your negative wire(generally black) and insert it into the negative end of the first COB, take the other end of the negative wire and insert in the positive end of the next COB(I know sounds wrong).
⁃Repeat
⁃Take your first positive wire and insert into a waygo clip.
⁃Take your last wire(negative) and insert into a different waygo clip.
⁃Take your positive waygo clip and insert the corresponding positive OUTPUT wire of the power supply into the other end of the waygo clip.
⁃Take your negative waygo clip and insert the corresponding negative OUTPUT wire of the power supply into the other end of the waygo clip.
⁃ Now take the Input wires of the power supply and attach a waygo clip to each of these.
⁃Take your wall plug and attach the corresponding wires to the power supply input via waygo clips
⁃Often the colors will not corresponded with traditional US colors. Read the data sheet to find the positive, negative and ground.
⁃In the case of this power supply; Blue = Ground, Green/Yellow = Positive, Red = Negative

5.How to hang
⁃I didn稚 as I haven稚 built the cabinet for my vivarium yet, when I do I plan on building a frame out of aluminum stock and suspending with cables.
⁃Currently it sits on some brackets I had lying around.



Some notes
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⁃I am not an electrician nor am I an expert in electronics, an amateur at best.
⁃EXERCISE CAUTION
⁃Waygo clips can be difficult to open and may require using a screw driver to pry open, lever must be 90 degrees to original position in order to be open.
⁃Everything here can be soldered into place if you choose to do so.
⁃I opted to not solder anything till I finish the cabinet for the vivarium.
⁃If your system is over 150 volts I would highly recommend parallel wiring and not series, I will not go over parallel wiring as I most situations for vivarium won稚 need that much, I will link reference material though.


Reference materials
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Basic terminology

https://youtu.be/04-Oa6NumWM

⁃don稚 stress resistance, doesn稚 have much application here.

LED basics

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...iQPlYAhNe3GMGi


Any questions feel free to ask, happy building y誕ll.

Full shot of light and vivarium.







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Old 03-19-2020, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: DIY high powered LED(no soldering)

Some photos did not post, here they are in order.












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Old 03-19-2020, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: DIY high powered LED(no soldering)

I look forward to having the time to thoroughly read this, thanks for posting. It looks VERY helpful.

Your photo of the viv looks exactly how I like mine lit.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: DIY high powered LED(no soldering)

I forgot an important piece, adjusting the potentiometer.



Io ADJ is how you regulate the output current, the range for this power supply is .45-.75 A(450-750ma). If you don稚 have access to a multimeter then I would suggest turning it all the way to left so that you are certain you are not over driving the COBs. Be careful when adjusting, extremely easy to strip.




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Old 03-20-2020, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: DIY high powered LED(no soldering)

Quality post. Bookmarking for later, really appreciate your efforts.
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: DIY high powered LED(no soldering)

Wow, what a great post! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this here. I am embarking on doing exactly this right now (I've even got stuff in my cart at DigiKey). After watching enough YouTube videos from weed growers doing this type of thing to have certainly landed myself on some sort of list, I still had some questions, including about resistors. You've answered them in your post and I feel pretty good moving forward.

I grow carnivorous plants, which need loads of light, and after having yet another light bar burn out on me, I got tired of the waste involved with replacing the entire fixture. Though the initial expense of a DIY build is higher, I'm looking forward to only having to replace the COB's rather than the entire setup. It's an exciting prospect, and you've helped make it happen. Thanks again!
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: DIY high powered LED(no soldering)

Glad this post helped, and bless weed growers best source of information on DIY LED arrays. Please post any struggles, or points I may have missed when you go to construct your light. Would love to see what you come up with as well!


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